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“Not quite as child friendly as advertised but a great stay nonetheless”
Review of The Elms

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The Elms
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Abberley
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
106 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Not quite as child friendly as advertised but a great stay nonetheless”
Reviewed August 24, 2007

We stayed here in August 2007 and like the previous reviewer, also had the Gladstone room. It is one of the last 'unrefurbished' rooms in the hotel and as such isn't really up to standard for a Von Essen, but if you want your young child in a seperate room there aren't many other options!! (We heard horrendous tales from other parents there of them and 3 children squished into a small double room).

Unlike the previous reviewer, we did feel our holiday was a little spoilt by building noise - on arrival there was a JCB with its bucket right outside our window. We weren't informed that work was going on right outside our room either before arrival or on check-in...maybe they thought we wouldn't notice?! I can excuse the need to do building work, but not the fact that we weren't told - after a long drive we were devastated to have to deal with all that. We were offered one of the aforementioned small doubles as an alternative.

Anyway, here are the things we liked:
- The staff were friendly, professional and great at what they did. (But someone probably needs a quiet word in the kitchen staff's ears as we could hear them swearing when the restaurant was quiet!)

- The grounds were beautiful and relaxing. The scenery was amazing. Thanks to the country air our baby slept 14hrs solid so we felt quite good after that too!

- The food was delicious.

- Tickle the dog was a firm favourite.

Here are the things we thought they could do better, mainly child related:
- Our room could be better childproofed. Our toddler could climb out of the window, which opened from the bottom; all the plug sockets were 'low' and we had to watch the kettle and light leads constantly. There were no bedside lights, so lots of stumbling around in the dark for the 4am feeds and the only TV was in our baby's room not ours so should we have needed to spend time up there if he wasn't sleeping! There were no towel rails to hang up the lovely fluffy towels.

- They should review the children's high tea menu and arrangements. The first day we were forced to feed our baby in the entrance hall, as the room they usually use had been taken out of action for a wedding. I take it that this is a regular occurrence and we weren't impressed as we felt shoved to one side and not important enough to have a proper place to eat. The food on the first day had been heavily pre-salted, which is an absolute no-no for young children, and on both days there were NO vegetables so not as healthy as we had hoped. (This was actually the same for the adut food). However they were helpful if we needed anything pureed.

- We didn't sadly have time to use the creche, but by all accounts it is great!

We will probably go back again but wait until our baby is older, maybe 3 upwards.

  • Liked — The grounds and scenery
  • Disliked — Tatty room
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank superhols
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
England
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2007

we stayed at the Elms Hotel with our 2 children aged 2 and 5 who made themselves welcome as soon as we entered the charming reception. The staff on reception were superb and checked us in very promptly and showed us to our room which was the Gladstone room which was ready set up with a travel cot for our 2 year old son and also a full single bed for our 5 year old daughter. This room was the perfect set up for us & meant my husband & I had our own bedroom within the "suite". The bathroom was adequate - not 4 star luxury but clean tidy and functional and plenty big enough! The creche facilities were all brand new and the 2 ladies running it, Vicki and Becky were fantastic & welcomed our 2 with open arms which gave my husband & I the opportunity to indulge in the luxury afternoon tea which cannot be missed - sheer indulgence on a grand scale!
The childrens high tea was served with a great healthy choice even for the most discerning 5 year old! The grounds were full of places to explore and run around & knowwhere seems out of bounds! There is some building work going on for a leisure suite which will be the real icing on the cake for this lovely hotel but it didn't effect our stay at all! Dinner was fantastic - with the children safely tucked up in bed dreaming about face painting and chasing Tickle (the dog) the next day, and also being attentivly listened to by the inhouse sophisticated listening monitor, we were able to have a relaxing evening enjoying the ambience of the restaurant & each others company over a fine bottle of wine! The next morning, we had fresh coffee, warm milk and orange jiuce delivered to our room along with our requested room service breakfast which again was just right! The children enjoyed another couple of hours in the creche & running around the grounds whilst we sat & read some papers & enjoyed coffee & fresh home made biscuits. I would unreserverdlyl come back to this hotel - we only stayed one night but it felt like so much longer as we were treated so well. We will be back!

  • Liked — the calm relaxing and welcoming feel abou the place
  • Disliked — only staying one night!
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bargain-lil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2007

Just returned from a night at this hotel over the Bank Holiday weekend, and all in all would have to give it a decent rating - not excellent, but very good.

Service is indeed extremely good and the staff are all polite, friendly, and not at all pushy. The surroundings are lovely, despite some building works (not in the main building), although the dreadful weather meant that we were hard pressed to get out and explore.

Nice touches included the fact that the staff all appear to know who you are, and do not need to ask every time you want something i.e. ordering a meal or a drink.

We were also impressed with the line up of courtesy wellies (for borrowing of course!) by the back door, and the pet brown labrador (Tickles) was a great hit with our two children - not to mention extraordinarily well trained at only 10 months!!

Our only criticism would be that the hotel is still clearly in transition from being a small country hotel mainly (if not only) for adults, to a family friendly hotel. We do not think the balance is yet right - for example, children below 12 are not supposed to eat in the restaurant in the evenings. I think this is too old a cut-off although clearly some discretion is used as our two at 9 and 6 were allowed in - after staff checked with the Maitre d'.

Also, on arrival it would have helped to have had a brief explanation of what was really on offer for the children, as we spent the first hour or so waiting to be told, and ended up having to ask basic questions.

Despite this, I would commend the hotel to anyone with a young family, and agree that I think this place will improve all the time once they decide exactly how they will operate. We will most likely go again!

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank RosefordBrowns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 27, 2007

We started our holiday in the UK with two nights at the Elms. To say it far exceeded our expectations would be an understatement. This is a fine old country house in a lovely setting. We were greeted by the staff like long lost friends, informed that we had been upgraded and housed in a suite so big it felt like it took up half the hotel. We have a one year old and things were set up perfectly for this - travel cot, baby monitor, sterliser all provided, and a great kids high tea menu. This is in transition to becoming one of Von Essens family hotels which people with children should definitely check out and from which those without should not be put off - its family time during the day but in the evening the onus is very much on the kids being tucked up in bed.
During our stay the restaurant was being refurbished but this did not impact on the quality of the food served which was outstanding on both nights (with the menu changing extensively between the two). Breakfasts were hale and hearty affairs. The bar area - all oak and smoky fires - makes for a lovely realxing setting both pre and post dinner.
We cannot recommend this place highly enough and once again would mention the warmth, friendliness and helpfulness of the staff as a major plus.

  • Liked — The setting
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MagicMomos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2007

Hotel was fine but not one of the best of the von essen group. We found the room to be tidy but small and the bed uncomfortable. We told them that we were veg in refernce to a picnic. They supplied us with a non veg picnic hamper. We were not offered any compensation. On the positive side the evening meal and breakfast was great and drinks are reasonable priced. Just as a warning this is a family hotel so expect a lot of children.

  • Liked — evening food
  • Disliked — rooms
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JH99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2006

My wife and I stayed at The Elms in February 2006 for one night.

We booked a standard room on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis, along with some flowers and chocolates via the very efficient VonEssen group website.

Hotel looks suitably grand from the outside, and on entering the lobby is warm and welcoming.
Service was impeccable, our room was ready and we were shown up by the receptionist (hotel seemed quite quiet when we stayed, but it was midweek in low season).
The room was impressively large, easily the equal of some of the 4/5 star hotels we have had the pleasure of staying in. (We were later informed that the room was actually an executive rather than the standard which we had ordered. I'm guessing we were upgraded as the hotel had plenty of space at the time)

The room had a very comfortable seating area, decanter of sherry, bathrobes, desk, very large + comfortable bed, and good views over the Worcestershire countryside. (See photos)

The flowers and chocolates that I ordered were present (and very tasty - the chocolates anyway).

We had a pre-dinner drink in the lounge and chose our wine. The sommelier came in for a quick chat, and some tasty canapes were delivered.
Dinner was very good - worth it's two AA rosettes, but a little way off any more exclusive Michelin stars. The Half Board option allows you to choose from a fairly restricted (although still good) menu, an upgrade to A La Carte is only an extra £10. A tasting menu is also available.

(Incidentally the wine list was good, with full coverage of the classic regions (if perhaps a little light at the very top end - not an issue for me), and also some interesting choices from the New World.)

In the morning we received a courtesy call from reception checking that it was OK to continue the refurbishment of the Gents Toilets (which were directly under our room). Nice touch to check that we were awake (and about to check out) rather than just starting the refurb work early (This was about 10:30am - Doubt the refurb work would cause any trouble anyway)

The VonEssen newsletter also stated that the hotel was having a Spa and Pool built - guess prices may rise once this is complete so get in now whilst it still very reasonable.

All in all this was a very relaxing and pleasant break in a hotel we would happily return to again. We will certainly consider other hotels in the VonEssen group in the future.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank SteveP999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 30, 2005

What more can u say the food was fab, the service excellent would recommend to anyone the grounds beautifully kept and very peaceful brilliant 10/10

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Elms

Property: The Elms
Address: 1 Stockton Road, Abberley WR6 6AT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Worcestershire > Malvern Hills > Abberley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Abberley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Elms 5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elms Hotel, part of Luxury Family Hotels, is much loved by children and parents alike. Located in beautiful rural Worcestershire, this Queen Anne mansion boasts a family friendly spa, a fine dining restaurant and complimentary crèche.At The Elms Hotel and Spa, our aim is to ensure your family feels completely at home so that you can relax, have fun with the kids and enjoy grown-up time for yourselves. You’ll find locally sourced food, a family spa, gorgeous grounds and superb children’s facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Elms Hotel And Spa
The Elms Hotel Abberley
Elms Hotel Abberley
The Elms Abberley, Worcestershire

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